Columns > Music

Thursday, December 2 2010

Bullshit Detectors! The Garage Is an Outside Place, and a Place for Outsiders

As the commune was to hippies, so the garage has been to garage bands and to their proto-punk, punk, and post-punk successors: an enclave where marginalized youth can fantasize or realize their visions of independent alternative art and lifestyles.

Wednesday, December 1 2010

My Life With the Tape Hiss Cult

When we think of our experiences with electronic music, we can follow a thought trail that leads like a Wikipedia article from one incendiary album to many others. Their qualities are not always alike but for one: the nostalgic thread that runs through them.

Tuesday, November 30 2010

Rebirth in the Tremé: New Orleans Ascendent

When the band broke into the repetitive horn line of “Hurricane”, the Tipitina’s crowd went utterly and gloriously berserk, joining the band in screaming “Heeeay!” after certain particularly ripping runs.

Tuesday, November 23 2010

‘Life’: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Rolling Stone

Because Keith Richards lived the book he’s written, he’s written a book that lives on.

Wednesday, November 17 2010

Hip-Hop’s Laboratory of Language

What do William Wordsworth, Robert Frost, Ice Cube, and Ghostface Killah have in common? Finally, they all appear in anthologies.

Tuesday, November 16 2010

Rosanne Cash: More Than Just a Legend’s Daughter

Rosanne Cash’s lyricism plays on the page as if she’s on stage with guitar in hand. You can hear the music as you read. PopMatters Jaime Karnes talks with this gifted writer of songs and stories.

Thursday, November 11 2010

Hüsker Dü: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock

What the world really needs is a straight-up account of one of the most important rock groups of all time. Now we have it in the form of music scribe Andrew Earles.

Jimi Hendrix, the Patron Saint of Alt-Blackness

Forty years after his death, Jimi Hendrix looms larger - and deeper - than ever within the black cultural pantheon. Even though he wasn't really 'black'.

Tuesday, November 9 2010

Paul Robeson: A Resonant Voice That Will Never Be Fully Silenced

Modern day 'political' celebrities can't hold a candle to Paul Robeson, who always flaunted his politics even when it was perhaps most dangerous to do so.

Monday, November 8 2010

A Mexico State of Mind

Songs about Mexico run rampant through the commercial country landscape, but which Mexico are they singing about?

Thursday, November 4 2010

Take Your Daughter to Work Day: A Father Reflects on Years of Force-feeding Pop Culture to His Child

How will my daughter feel when her friends greet her in 2030 with an enthusiastic shout-out to Hannah Montana or SpongeBob SquarePants and she can only remember Bebop, Rocksteady, the Gentleman Ghost and Gyro Gearloose?

Monday, November 1 2010

Searching for the Prophetic in Hip-Hop

While conscious hip-hop takes on a propagandized approach and Christian hip-hop is concerned first and foremost with Christ, prophetic hip-hop bears witness to the human condition in graphic, uncompromising terms.

Thursday, October 28 2010

Soundscape Mix #10: Halloween

With tracks ranging from indie psychedelia and lo-fi, to instrumental hip-hop and industrial drum & bass, I took a chance, here. Some of these tracks will likely be outside of your boundaries of taste. Listen... if you dare.

Monday, October 25 2010

Cedar Walton and Jazz for the ‘Young and Foolish’

The journey into the history of jazz can be a serious thrill ride. Still young, sometimes still foolish, the old stuff happens to remain seriously exciting if you just find the right time and place to listen.

Tuesday, October 19 2010

Soundscape Mix #9: Disco, The Continuing Last Days

PopMatters' latest free mix tape presents some aspects of the lasting effects of disco and associated funk, with ace selections from Squarepusher, of Montreal, Matthew Dear, Goldfrapp to keep that boogie in your shoes.

Thursday, October 14 2010

Their Mics Still Sound Nice: BET Puts Ladies First

Do women rappers have to shake it in our faces in order to get us to listen? As this doc. notes some, like Salt 'N' Pepa do it with sassiness and sex appeal " know, if I was a book, I would sell / 'cause every curve on my body got a story to tell".

Tuesday, October 12 2010

Ah, Halloween: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… for Music

A zombie has a better chance of making it through the heavy ordnance firing range near my house than I have of making a mix – even a Halloween mix—that doesn’t devolve into sad, introspective territory.

Thursday, September 30 2010

Steve Coleman: Saxophone Funkmaster, Musical Philosopher, Shaman, Baffler

If Steve Coleman didn't turn out to be the lovechild of James Brown and Charlie Parker that I first thought he was, then he ultimately turned into someone more interesting, if less fun.

Tuesday, September 28 2010

When Cee Lo Threw the F-Bomb, Whom Did He Hit?

The F-word has been used in pretty much any way possible. I would’ve thought that by now we’d all be inured to the 'F-Bomb'. Then along came Cee Lo...

Sunday, September 26 2010

Keeping It Real: Dreams, Mind-Alteration, & Misperception in Hip-Hop

Hip-hop has been engaged in an ongoing tension between fantasy and reality, art and artifice but rappers, like all good artists, sometimes have to lie in order to tell the truth.

//Mixed media

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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